Power outages, traffic gridlock and emergency meetings by utility regulators, but no injuries
Underground explosions rocked DowntownIndianapolis again Thursday morning. Here's a quick look at the situation:
An underground fire near the intersection of North Capitol Avenue and West North Street caused several manhole covers to blast into the air around 6:40 a.m. Thursday.
Indiana Power and Light Co. closed the intersection and shut down power in a four- to six-block radius, which caused traffic gridlocks for Downtown commuters.
When will power be restored?
IPL slowly began restoring power around 10:30 a.m. and stated that most customers should be up and running by 4:30 p.m. However, 150 customers in the four-block area of Walnut Street to Michigan Street, and Senate Avenue to Illinois Street are expected to be without power into the weekend because of damaged equipment.
Will traffic be snarled throughout the day?
Crews will be working at the intersection most of the day. Several Downtown traffic lights were still out as of 4 p.m., and will remain off during rush hour.
Is the government getting involved?
The dangerous blasts drew concern from the city and the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission, especially as crowds will flock to Indianapolis in April for the Final Four games.
The commission is holding an emergency conference on Friday. The city is teaming up with IPL to conduct safety checks of manhole covers around the city.
Why does this keep happening?
Manhole cover explosions have plagued the city for years. A 2011 report from the IURC said IPL needed to revamp its maintenance and infrastructure to stop the problem. Officials said then that they were taking steps to maintain and "enhance" the electrical network.
What will be done to rectify the problem?
IPL announced Thursday it would install more locks on manhole covers in the city to secure them from flying into the air.